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Tuesday Sports in Brief

July 28, 2021 GMT

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — American star Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s gymnastics team final competition following one rotation on Tuesday night, opening the door for the team of Russian athletes to win gold for the first time in nearly three decades.

Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum guided the U.S. to silver while Biles cheered from the sideline in a white sweatsuit, at peace with a decision that revealed a shift not only in Biles but perhaps the sport she’s redefined.

On Wednesday, Biles withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.

Biles is the latest in a series of high-profile athletes, including tennis star Naomi Osaka, who have used their platforms to discuss their mental heath struggles. A subject that was once taboo has become far more accepted and embraced.

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Japan won its second straight Olympic softball gold medal, beating the United States 2-0 Tuesday in an emotional repeat of its 2008 victory in Beijing that again left the Americans in tears.

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Yukiko Ueno took a one-hitter into the fifth inning, five days after her 39th birthday, and Japan snuffed out an American rally attempt with an acrobatic double play in the sixth inning that will long be replayed.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Texas and Oklahoma made a request Tuesday to join the Southeastern Conference — in 2025 —- with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey saying the league would consider it in the “near future.”

The wheels are in motion for a monumental move in college sports, but the Longhorns and Sooners are not yet free agents. And it’s doubtful they want to wait until the contract that binds them to the Big 12 for four more years runs out to bolt to the SEC.

It also might not be in the best interest of the Big 12 to have two lame ducks in the conference much beyond the 2021-22 school year.

MLB

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg will have season-ending neck surgery, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday, ending another frustrating year for Washington’s 2019 World Series hero.

The three-time All-Star right-hander felt discomfort after a 27-pitch bullpen session last week and saw a specialist on Monday. Strasburg, who is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in five starts this season, was diagnosed with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and will be operated on by Dr. Greg Pearl in Dallas on Wednesday, Martinez said.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has tested positive for the coronavirus and is showing mild symptoms.

Yelich and utilityman Jace Peterson were placed on the COVID-19 injured list, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said Tuesday, adding that Peterson was sidelined due to contact tracing and hasn’t tested positive.

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Yelich — who has been vaccinated against the virus — will miss at least 10 days from the date of his positive test and Peterson will miss at least seven days, Stearns said.

NEW YORK (AP) — Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave was extended by 10 days through Aug. 6 on Tuesday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association while the sport’s investigators check into allegations of sexual misconduct against the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.

Bauer was placed on seven days’ paid leave on July 2 under the joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy adopted by MLB and the players’ union in 2015. MLB and the union have agreed to three extensions.

Police in Pasadena, California, and MLB are investigating the allegations made against Bauer by a Southern California woman who says the pitcher choked her to the point where she lost consciousness and punched her during two sexual encounters this year. The woman obtained a protection order against Bauer under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

NBA

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former President Barack Obama has bought a stake in the NBA’s Africa business through his foundation, the NBA said Tuesday.

Obama will have a minority equity stake in NBA Africa, a new entity set up this year to run all the league’s business on the continent.

The NBA said Obama would use any profits to fund the Obama Foundation’s youth and leadership programs in Africa.

Obama has been linked to the NBA’s Africa operations since 2019, although it wasn’t clear until Tuesday exactly what his involvement would be.

NHL

Alex Ovechkin re-signed with the Washington Capitals on the eve of free agency, inking a five-year deal worth $47.5 million.

There was virtually no chance of Ovechkin signing elsewhere, but the deal done Tuesday keeps him under contract through the 2025-26 season at a salary-cap hit of $9.5 million.

Washington’s longtime captain, who earned playoff MVP honors in leading the franchise to its first Stanley Cup title in 2018, turns 36 in September. Ovechkin ranks fifth on the career goals list with 730, 164 back of Wayne Gretzky for the NHL record.

CHICAGO (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury was traded from Vegas to Chicago on Tuesday, a stunning turn of events that has the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender contemplating his future.

The Golden Knights traded Fleury to the Blackhawks for minor league forward Mikael Hakkarainen in a salary dump. Fleury is set to count $7 million against the cap next season, the final year of his contract.

And that’s if he reports at all. Agent Allan Walsh tweeted, “Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time.”

COLLEGE BASEBALL

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State says head baseball coach Chris Lemonis has signed a long-term contract extension, less than a month after guiding the Bulldogs to their first College World Series national championship.

A release Tuesday says Lemonis will earn a base salary of $1.25 million next year, followed by annual increases of $25,000. The contract’s length was not specified.

Lemonis is 255-128-2 in seven seasons as a head coach, including 114-37 in three years at MSU. That included a 50-18 mark this spring, capped by the Bulldogs’ first national title in any team sport in their third consecutive CWS appearance.

SOCCER

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes has become part of MLS club Sporting Kansas City’s ownership group.

The Chiefs quarterback and 2018 NFL MVP had his stake in the soccer team announced Tuesday.

Mahomes also is a part owner of baseball’s Kansas City Royals and his fiancée, Brittany Matthews, is a co-owner of the women’s soccer club Kansas City NWSL. In 2019, Mahomes established the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports